Welcome guest, is this your first visit? Click the "Create Account" button now to join.

To disable ads, please log-in.

Shop at TeamEstrogen.com for women's cycling apparel.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 21

Hybrid View

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    251

    Safety on crazy roads

    I had this intelligent sounding question all formed, but let's just face facts: this new rider is a bit of a wimp when it comes to the crazy roads outside my neighborhood. But the neighborhood is going to hold me for long!

    I know safety is 99% common sense, but I'd appreciate any BTDT advice on staying safe, especially when it comes to picking roads to ride on (nice wide shoulders come to mind). How often do you have to drive somewhere to ride your bike?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,645
    Nice wide CLEAN shoulders WITHOUT rumble strips/stripes can make for a safe road, but those are usually limited to high speed, high traffic main artery roads. Those roads are generally rideable and good when you need to get from point A to point B, but difficult to turn left from, risky in terms of right hooks, and generally not very much fun.

    When I look for roads I prefer to ride, traffic volume is the #1 consideration. Sight lines and the like are largely dictated by your terrain. Traffic volume tells me how much in a hurry the drivers will tend to be, how many cars I might hold up while climbing a hill, crossing a bridge or approaching a blind curve, and just generally how often I will have to interact with traffic.

    Have a mirror and learn to use it. Understand when and why to take the lane.

    How often I have to drive somewhere - well right now, because of my injury, always - but in terms of roads, never - although I wasn't riding when we bought our house, traffic volume was definitely a consideration when we bought it. But since I prefer to ride with people and live far from the county seats, when I was healthy I would often drive to the start of a group ride. It really depends on where you live. There are some roads I would never ride on, and if I lived on one of them, I wouldn't ride from home.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    64
    I'm lucky that I can get on a bike path within a mile of my house and ride 40+ with only a few stops to cross a street. But, it's not the same as being on the road and it gets boring to see the same scenery, so I like to venture out on the roads, but I generally look for a group or organized ride and I will drive to one if I need to. Fortunately, here, you can find them year round.

    I have to say that I will reconsider one of the organized rides (100k) that I did this year, due to the heavy traffic on the rural roads northwest of Ft. Worth. No shade, brutal sun (July) and farm to market roads with big pickups (ranchers) and big trucks (oil/gas equipment being hauled). There were several times I was really scared at how fast AND CLOSE traffic came whizzing by.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Renton, Washington
    Posts
    27
    I live near Seattle in an area where I can be in the city one way and out on country roads if I go the other. I love to ride out in the country, but some of the roads are narrow and there can be lots of trucks. My love-to-hate drivers are school busses. I firmly believe you only have to be able to fog up a mirror to drive one. The double dump trucks are much more aware and professional. I wear bright stuff, always follow traffic rules and get out in the middle on narrow bridges, (unless, of course a school bus is behind me, then I head for a ditch). Seriously, common sense and riding in decent conditions goes a long way. I prefer to ride with a group when possible.
    Happy country roads!
    Stellar1
    Orbea Dama 2011

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Black Forest, CO
    Posts
    28
    If you are riding narrow roads I definitely recommend a headlight and flashing rear light. Wear bright colors and follow the rules of the road. Even on roads with proper bike lanes and wide shoulders cars will still crowd you sometimes. The more we ride, the more cars will get used to seeing us out there. I did a tour this summer from San Luis Obispo to San Diego and the best bicycling was in SLO, not because the roads were so great, but because the driver's are very used to seeing bicyclists and they share the road.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    262
    This is a tough one because it's very specific to where you live. I'm not sure what the hazards are for you on the road. I think mostly, in addition to what has been said, it's important in all situations to be aware of other traffic. It sounds like that is mostly car traffic, but if you are in town, you need to be aware of foot traffic and other non-motorized vehicles. If you are more suburban or rural, figure out when it's safe to ride in full tuck (less visibility) and when to sit up high and get seen. Know how to occupy a lane to make a turn or other traffic move. Make eye contact with drivers when interacting in traffic... and be hesitant to make a bold move unless you have done so. Always use hand signals to show what you intend to do, and at busy intersections, even indicate "I'm going straight". I ride country roads (from my door - I was a serious cyclist when I bought and being able to ride from my door was #1 on the location aspect) and my riding in a lot of traffic is quite relative, but these are some things I think about each time. HTH!
    The bicycle has done more for the emancipation of women than anything else in the world. ~ Susan B. Anthony

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Columbia, MO
    Posts
    2,051
    Quote Originally Posted by luvmyguys View Post
    I know safety is 99% common sense
    I don't agree with this. The League of American Cyclists teaches two things that are completely counter-intuitive: stay off sidewalks, and ride at least an arm's length (or more) from the edge of the road. The narrower the road, the more assertive (toward the middle) your lane position. This is based on statistics of bike wrecks. "Common sense" dictates that we ride on sidewalks and hug the edge, get as far from those cars as possible. But statistics shows that the opposite keeps us safer.

    I advise you to sign up for Traffic Skills 101, if you can find a class offered in your area. That will increase the options of roads you feel comfortable on. You might even consider using your bike to run errands, or commute. You might never have to drive to ride your bike again.
    2009 Trek 7.2FX WSD, brooks Champion Flyer S, commuter bike

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Richmond, VA
    Posts
    333
    also a mirror is a must- though you often hear vehicles about the time you see them- some cars are amazingly quiet.....

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Katy, Texas
    Posts
    1,828
    Quote Originally Posted by tealtreak View Post
    also a mirror is a must- though you often hear vehicles about the time you see them- some cars are amazingly quiet.....
    especially the new electric and hybrid vehicles. They are like stealth bombers.
    marni
    Katy, Texas
    Trek Madone 6.5- "Red"
    Trek Pilot 5.2- " Bebe"


    "easily outrun by a chihuahua."

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,645
    You know, nine times out of ten, when someone tells me how quiet my Prius is, the gas engine is running.

    The other day I was running in the middle of a quiet street, as I often do to avoid the crown. A car came up behind me, a great big American gas-only land shark. But it was following me at my jogging pace - and so the tire and wind noise, which is the great majority of noise from ANY car these days due to EPA noise regulations, was too faint for me to hear, and I didn't know they were there until they gently tapped their horn.

    That whole thing about hybrid exhaust noise is driven by people who want to put straight pipes on their motorcycles and claim it's for safety reasons. And, to a lesser extent, by people who want license to run down bicyclists in the street (even more license than they already have, that is, since they nearly have carte blanche already) because we don't make noise... and, I must admit, by pedestrians and cyclists who want to tool around just like motorists do, with their phones or iPods blasting in their ears, completely oblivious to the traffic around them. At root, it's mainly driven by people who have contempt for anyone who wants a more fuel-efficient vehicle. I can see how popular that viewpoint would be in Texas, since we have enough oil and gas extraction here for people to act that way too.

    Please don't perpetuate that myth.



    Also related to this thread is issues of visibility. See my post in the other thread about why a little bit of visibility aid is worse than none at all. Be very alert for motorists who will target fixate on you.
    Last edited by OakLeaf; 10-02-2012 at 04:44 AM.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Boise Idaho
    Posts
    1,192
    Quote Originally Posted by OakLeaf View Post



    Also related to this thread is issues of visibility. See my post in the other thread about why a little bit of visibility aid is worse than none at all. Be very alert for motorists who will target fixate on you.
    Target fixation is why I do not like blinking type lights, they drive me nuts as I think they are super unsafe. As Oakleaf pointed out, a light that doesn't give enough visibility is equally dangerous. In fact I believe blinking lightst are illegal in Germany.

    Good, visible lighting with a steady beam is what I use. I am lucky to have a dyno hub so I never have to worry about making sure my light is charged.
    Sky King
    ____________________
    Gilles Berthoud "Bernard"
    Surly ECR "Eazi"
    Empowering the Bicycle Traveler
    biketouringnews.com

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,145
    I thought about target fixation when I was riding this morning. I know what happens to me when I am driving, like seeing the bright headlamp of a bike. I used to think "what's that," and probably fixate on it. Now, I assume it's a bike. Today, at about 5:10 AM, I saw another rider coming toward me with a huge and bright helmet light. I knew what it was, but I am betting the few drivers out did not.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Posts
    10,957
    Quote Originally Posted by Crankin View Post
    I thought about target fixation when I was riding this morning. I know what happens to me when I am driving, like seeing the bright headlamp of a bike. I used to think "what's that," and probably fixate on it. Now, I assume it's a bike. Today, at about 5:10 AM, I saw another rider coming toward me with a huge and bright helmet light. I knew what it was, but I am betting the few drivers out did not.
    I've been thinking about this myself. The very first part of my ride to work from home is very, very dark with no streetlights at all. To make matters worse, the darkest part is an interstate underpass with very rough pavement. I've been checking out the riders I pass on the way to work, and it is REALLY hard to see them! They have bright headlights, but outside of a blinky on the back they don't have much - and it is really hard to see them from even with the blinky and their headlight doesn't have a wide enough spread to make it easy to see lit pavement from behind. I am not riding to work right now I see a need for a much more serious lighting answer for side and rear. Back when it got light 15 minutes after leaving home I wasn't as worried about it, but now it doesn't get light until I've been in the office an hour or so...well...

    My headlight, as powerful as it is, also doesn't quite last long enough to get to work when it is dark the entire trip. This is disappointing considering what I paid for it! It needs to be brighter and last longer.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    1
    Bike riding safety is very important. During ride you need to keep good eye on the road, sometime crazy roads comes up during the riding journey, however, riding on those roads safely is the great challenge. In the night I specially find it tough to ride bike (whenever I try to ride at night).

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Toronto, Ont. Canada
    Posts
    2
    I'm a beginner myself, so i cannot advice much here, But I would never pass a headlight and flashing rear light. Its a MUST!

 

 

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •